G-P Logo
Request a proposal

AeUnited Arab Emirates Visas
& Permits.






Country Capital

Abu Dhabi


UAE dirham (AED)

The United Arab Emirates, also referred to as the UAE or the Emirates, is a popular destination for expatriates due to its relatively simple visa requirements compared to the surrounding countries in the Middle East. This makes the country an excellent choice for companies that are growing internationally. However, as in any other country, there are specific requirements that must be followed regarding immigration, residence visas, and work permits.

Types of work visas in the United Arab Emirates

On September 5, 2022, the UAE government implemented new immigration regulations, including a new residency visa system that introduced several new categories.

Under the new regulations, residence permits for work include:

  • Residence permits for contractual employment: This is an employer-sponsored resident permit that requires Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) approval and an employment contract.
  • Green Visa: This is a 5-year self-sponsored residence permit for investors, highly skilled workers, and freelancers.

Requirements to obtain UAE work visas

To obtain a residence visa in the UAE, employees will need the following documents:

  • A passport valid for at least 6 months and a photocopy
  • Passport photos
  • An Emirates ID card
  • An entry permit from the Ministry of Labor (MOL)
  • The results of a medical screening
  • A copy of a company card from the employer
  • A copy of the company’s commercial license
  • Attested Bachelor’s degree (only for managerial positions)

The employee may apply for a residence visa after obtaining an entry visa. The employee’s work permit will be listed as part of the residence visa. To get a work permit, the employee will need all of the documents listed above, as well as a work permit application form, which must be completed in Arabic, and an employment contract or job offer from a company in the UAE.

Application process

It may be helpful to think of the process of obtaining a UAE work permit in three stages: getting an employment entry visa, getting an Emirates ID card (also known as a Resident Identity Card), and obtaining a residence visa and work permit.

1. How to get an entry visa for the UAE

An Employment Visa Entry Permit (EVEP) in the UAE is also referred to as a pink visa. To begin the process of obtaining this permit, the employer must apply for visa quota approval on behalf of the employee. This approval will be obtained through the MOL.

Next, the employer will submit an employment contract to the MOL. The prospective employee must sign this contract.

The Ministry must approve the work permit application before issuing an employment entry visa. With the approval and visa secured, the employee will have 2 months to enter the UAE.

Upon entering the UAE with a pink visa, the employee has 60 days to obtain a residence visa and formal work permit. As of February 2023, international employees unable to travel to UAE within the first 60 days are allowed to apply for an extension of an additional 60 days. This is available for all types of visas but is only available once.

2. Getting an Emirates ID

An Emirates ID is required for the medical screening employees will need to apply for a residence visa. To apply for an ID, the employee must provide their entry visa, an original passport, and a passport copy. Employees must apply in person at the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) center, where they will provide biometrics, including fingerprints and a photograph.

3. Obtaining a residence visa and work permit

To apply for a residence visa, the employee will need all of the required documents listed in the previous section. A residence visa for contractual work in the UAE is valid for up to 2 years and can be renewed. The employee’s work permit will be listed as part of the residency visa.

Once the work permit is approved, the employee can officially begin working.

Other important considerations

One of the unique considerations of working in the UAE is that work permits must be sponsored by an entity that is locally licensed and incorporated in the UAE. This requirement can complicate the process for companies that are in the early stages of global growth. If your company does not have an established presence in the UAE, you can work with a global growth expert in the UAE.

Some employees may also wish to bring family members with them to the UAE. Employees can sponsor residency visas for family members once they’ve received their own resident visas. While this gives them the right to live in the country, they are not allowed to work in the UAE.

Discover how G-P can help you manage your global teams.

At G-P, we’re committed to breaking down barriers to global business, enabling opportunity for everyone, everywhere, and helping companies tap into the fullest potential of their workforce. We help you maintain full compliance with local laws and ensure everything from hiring and onboarding to paying employees is quick and easy, regardless of where they are in the world.

Find out more about how our Global Growth Platform™ can help you grow your team across the globe.

For this particular location, G-P may be able to sponsor certain work visas and permits. Contact us today to assess your specific needs.


THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.

Expand in
AeUnited Arab Emirates.

Book a demo
Share This Guide